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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraSummer's imminent arrival means your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged.

Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, until researchers found it caused ozone depletion. As such, it's illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on an air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of periphery components at the same time.

Why? The easy answer is working on an air conditioning system is about as fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

To avoid draining your refrigerant, removing your compressor, installing a new unit and refilling the system with new cool stuff — only to have you come back in a week and say it's still not cold enough — it makes sense to replace the necessary components.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -

SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness


Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.


Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170


Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.


Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Former mayor adds to OC library-plan support


It’s an elegant solution. Expand Oregon City’s library on the current site (no new taxes needed to buy more property).

Preserve the historic Carnegie building. Build hugely needed space for technology, research and books right behind the present library. Parking available with city lot purchase. All this using available funds — not by raising taxes. Oregon City needs a modern library.

I applaud city leaders for this practical and cost-effective solution. I’m voting YES to expand OC’s library.

Alice Norris

Oregon City

No more budget slashes

I would like to encourage the citizens of Milwaukie to vote yes on Measure 3-439, the bond for Milwaukie’s share of light rail construction. We can’t afford more cuts to the maintenance of our infrastructure.

If you are unhappy about the additional tax burden, you might want to shift that unhappiness to the people who voted for light rail in Milwaukie without first figuring out how to pay for it. Namely, our former City Council: Jim Bernard, Deborah Barnes and Carlotta Collette, who are all running for office in this election. Let them know how you feel this Election Day.

Mike Shepard


No on Measure 3-439

This measure is designed to pay for Milwaukie’s share of the Portland/Milwaukie Light Rail Project. The current City Council supports this measure just because the previous council committed us to it. I say that voters in Milwaukie should make a statement by saying no.

Voters in Milwaukie have been saying no to this project for over 20 years. Yet our City Council members keep committing us. They just don’t seem to want to listen to the voters who are their employer. We all know how the White House in Washington D.C. is known as the “People’s House,” well the same can be said about City Hall, the county courthouse and the state capitol.

Our elected officials have developed a relationship with their campaign contributors, in exchange for personal favors, ignoring the voters in the process, the people whom they are supposed to represent.

Yes, if we say no, then TriMet and others will probably try legal action against the city of Milwaukie. I say, let them. I am sure that we can dig up some dirt on these campaign contributors as well as TriMet officials, as well as Metro. It is all a matter of public record.

Let’s say “NO” on Measure 3-349, and if our elected officials pay it anyway, then maybe it is time to overhaul Milwaukie City Council. We did it with the Clackamas County Commission last year. There will be changes to the Clackamas County Commission this year.

Let’s make sure that our elected officials support the people whom they represent and not their campaign contributors. When they tell us that there is not enough money for a project, that means that the money is tied up in the pet projects in support of their campaign contributors.

Jeff Molinari


Vote for Bernard, Savas

Current County commissioners Jim Bernard and Paul Savas have brought integrity and moderation to a Clackamas County Commission frequently wracked with political theater and histrionics.

It is high time our County Commission worked as a team for the benefit of all county citizens. Bernard and Savas can help bring about that change.

Don’t let a big-money super PAC highjack this election, as has been done in the past, bringing us more of the same.

Tony Holt


Keep common sense

I’m voting for Paul Savas, Clackamas County commissioner. Here’s why you should, too.

Paul ran a successful small business in Oak Grove for over 20 years. He brings that practical business experience to the commission.

Paul worked on Oak Grove water and sewer boards for years, ans saved ratepayers millions of dollars. He learned how things work in Clackamas County from the ground up.

Paul’s mission is to fix problems. He is not captive to any rigid ideology; he will work with everyone necessary to get things done to improve Clackamas County.

Paul’s record, according to his Oregonian endorsement, is one of competent service. Vote for Paul and keep this common sense straight-shooter on the Board of County commissioners.

Richard Jaskiel

Oak Grove

Negative campaigning

After reading the political rhetoric contained in the mailing received by the Steve Bates/Karen Bowerman camp, for the race for county commissioner, I noted a glaring difference in this campaign, negative campaigning! Paul Savas has never said a negative thing about his opponents. He concentrates on the issues, his actions, and his future desires for the county. This is a purposeful action on his part. He could make many negative comments regarding Mrs. Bowerman but has chosen to tell the voters and citizens of Clackamas County his position.

The negatives are lies but no one calls them on them. Mrs. Bowerman has been a resident of Clackamas County less than five years. What does she know about the county? Maybe that is why she is always hitting below the belt because she doesn’t have any positives she can be credited with.

The citizens want to know what you can do for them!

Paul Savas tells them what he has done, and is trying to achieve for them, the citizens of Clackamas County.

A vote for Paul Savas is a vote for Clackamas County.

Shirley Soderberg


Represent all of us

Two experienced women are running in the May 20 Democratic primary to replace Rep. Carolyn Tomei, who is retiring after seven terms as our House District 41 representative. Kathleen Taylor and Deborah Barnes share much common ground: both are longtime public schools advocates, Emerge Oregon graduates and have been involved in our communities for years.

I was dismayed, then, to receive a campaign mailer this past week painting Ms. Taylor as an “East Moreland [sic] outsider.” Our next state representative should be poised to advocate for our entire district. Oak Grove, Milwaukie, Sellwood, and surrounding Multnomah County share not just a common state legislative district, but common obstacles and opportunities: stabilizing school funding, tensions between infill, gentrification, and workforce housing, stronger accountability in our state government - as well as the small things that bring us together: pride in our communities and fellowship with our neighbors.

Rep. Tomei leaves behind big shoes to fill. I am not voting for a candidate who divides us. I will be voting for Kathleen Taylor, who will continue to unite and advocate for all of us.

Karin Power


Record of pushing for governmental efficiency

Kathleen Taylor, who is running for the Democratic nomination in House District 41, has worked as a government auditor for the city of Portland, Multnomah County, and the state of Oregon. Over the course of her career, she’s identified millions of dollars worth of savings.

Kathleen Taylor’s talent and dedication are needed in the Oregon Legislature. I hired Kathleen as an auditor in the city of Portland and later at the state of Oregon. I’ve worked closely with Kathleen, and she has a special knack for finding where things go wrong and then knowing how to set them right. I can’t imagine a person better suited to ask sharp questions and find the good solutions for Oregonians. She is smart, dedicated, and tireless!

We need a state representative who will prioritize school funding and look for ways to ensure state services are running at full efficiency. That’s why I’m voting for Kathleen to be my next state representative, and I encourage you to join me.

Gary Blackmer


Time to fire county’s investor

I want to call your attention to Clackamas County’s investment portfolio forwarded to me by current treasurer Shari Anderson. As you know, I contend that this portfolio is grossly mismanaged.

While the entire portfolio needs restructuring in my view, there are two glaring examples of extremely poor investments.

1. Deposit at US Bank $10.5 million earning 0.03 percent per annum

2. Deposit at Umpqua Bank $39.2 million earning 0.2


These investments stand out for two reasons: 1. The earnings yield is absolutely horrible. If bank deposits are desired, anyone can get at least 0.9 percent at many banks around the country. 2. These investments above are far beyond FDIC insurance thresholds and represent a huge percentage of the total portfolio. In the case of Umpqua Bank, this single deposit represents almost 15 percent of the entire portfolio. I like Umpqua Bank, but to invest 15 percent of the entire portfolio in a regional bank earning 0.2 percent per annum is in my opinion grossly negligent and incompetent because it lacks diversification coupled with a very poor yield. I also believe it may be in violation of ORS 295.002. It certainly appears so.

So why would Ms. Anderson invest the county’s funds in this manner? In the voter guide, she touts her Community Banking Investment Program and plans to expand. This is ridiculous. County investments should be made solely on the basis of safety, liquidity, diversification and return. This is taxpayer money at stake and should not be invested like a charity. If elected, I would eliminate Ms. Anderson’s Clackamas County Community Bank Investment Program.

I realize readers of your columns may find articles on “skeletons in the closet” and my unfortunate events of almost 20 years ago to be interesting. I knew this would come up, and I suppose it’s fair game. However the above issue is what is relevant to the county’s taxpayers today.

Ms. Anderson’s horrible investment decisions are costing the taxpayers millions of dollars per year. Yes millions. This is why I decided to run for county treasurer. I simply can’t stand to see this go on any longer. As a taxpayer, I’m standing up and saying, “Ms. Anderson, thank you for your service, but you’re fired.”

Please do your jobs and report on the real news. Thank you.

James Gleason

Candidate for Clackamas County treasurer

Clarification in order

The award I received from the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association was unrelated to the internal fraud-reporting hotline I established (“Campaigns go on attack mode,” April 30).

I led a multi-session task force that made sweeping changes to ORS 295 and the way public deposits are collateralized in the state of Oregon. It was a bill I worked very closely on with the Oregon Bankers Association in the 2005 and 2007 sessions.

Before the legislation was passed government deposits were collateralized at 20 percent. Now they are collateralized via a shared collateral pool so that we have essentially 100 percent collateralized deposits.

It is the reason Jim Gleason’s statement about me having deposits in risky banks above the FDIC limits is so offensive. I am extremely proud of the work I did on that bill and because of it during the banking crisis in 2008/2009 government deposits were safe.

Thank you for checking.

Shari Anderson

Clackamas County treasurer

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.